The Importance of a Rockstar CFO in an Uncertain Economy

If you’re in the market for a new CFO, you’re going to have to get in line. According to a recent article in Bloomberg, the role is the “hottest property in the job market right now.” A separate Fortune magazine article noted that “ready now” candidates — those who can jump right in — rank even higher in necessity. With an uncertain economy, a troubled supply line, and rising costs in just about every industry, companies have begun to recognize that the number crunchers toiling away in the finance department are also the superheroes they desperately need to save the day, the fourth quarter, and the years to come. That means that the competition to fill this critical role is fierce. 

To attract top talent, you’ll need every advantage to secure the right person for your company — including hiring an executive recruiter. Make no mistake; your competitors will not be leaving their own executive search to the whims of digital job posting platforms and word of mouth. You’ll have to enlist help if you want to secure your top candidates. Here’s why:

Companies Need to Court Candidates in a Competitive Market

Ask any recruiting firm and they will surely agree that finding the right C-suite candidate is never easy for any company, even in the best economy. Trying to find the best CFO in a financial downturn is even harder. In fact, there are more open CFO positions than there are experienced CFOs. If you’re needing to fill the essential role of steering your organization through a downturn, a recession, or anything else the economy can throw at you, your company will need to set itself apart and really sell the role to potential candidates.

That’s where a recruiter can be your biggest ally. Executive recruiters are not just hired to find new leaders. They are also there to market your company to the best candidates. They are the intermediary you need to sell the benefits of joining your executive team. With a thorough review of your goals for the role, your potential benefits package, and your company’s culture and visio for the future, your executive recruiter can craft an enticing and powerful pitch for the company itself–helping the right candidate see themselves as part of a bigger, more meaningful whole.

CFOs Must Be Vetted Thoroughly 

In a market that is so competitive, the pressure to hire someone quickly can be quite intense. Yielding to it, however, would be a big mistake. If you hire the wrong candidate, you’ll just be conducting this search all over again in the near future and your need will be no less urgent. If you are filling the role for securing the financial future of your company, you absolutely must confirm that they are capable of steering your organization forward. That means credentials, a strong resume and positive references, in addition to examples of leadership in financial uncertainty. It’s best to begin vetting from the very beginning. 

Executive recruiters typically have a network they tap into to begin building a candidate list. They will ensure that every potential CFO they bring before you has the skills you outlined in your initial consultation and has the vetted work history to back the experience they have presented to you. You will avoid costly mistakes and potential damage to your brand by bringing on the right person the first time. 

Finding Top Talent Takes Time

Companies and organizations on the hunt for a CFO also need support with the process because it is very time-consuming. From the creation of the job description to the day the candidate becomes a new hire, recruiting is a complicated and sometimes lengthy process that most stakeholders simply do not have time for. No one working one full-time job wants to add even more responsibility to their overflowing plate. 

Not only that, but the hunt can get quite discouraging for those who end up too close to the process. Right now, finding a CFO is like buying a home in the equally tight market: Here today–reaching out to start a conversation, gone tomorrow–employed at another company. An executive recruiter takes the largest burden of the process off of your shoulders while also providing support and guidance during the vetting and selection process. You can focus on your own duties and participate in relevant activities, like creating a finalist list and interviewing top candidates. 

Don’t be discouraged if your search for a CFO has become frustrating or hasn’t yielded qualified candidates. The market may be tough, but it is not insurmountable…if you have the right partner for the process. An executive recruiter can help you outshine your competition when courting new candidates and ensure they are properly vetted for the role. Not only that, they can save you and your team hours of searching by taking on the busywork. If your CFO search — or any other executive search — is not turning out the way you planned, call us for free consultation. We can help you find a new path forward!